It is the birthday of English writer and scholar, J.R.R. Tolkien (born January 3, 1892). Among his now published writings is a series of his letters from “Father Christmas” (aka Santa Claus) to his children in years 1920-1943. Tolkien’s children are John, Michael, Christopher and Priscilla.
These annual letters include lively snippets of the life of this Father Christmas whose residence is in the North Pole. Among the cast of characters who assist Father Christmas are Polar Bear and his visiting nephews, Paksu and Valkotukka, and an elf assistant, Ilbereth. As they grapple throughout the year with various calamities including too much snow or flooding, goblin attacks and other misadventures, Father Christmas and his helpers strive to make sure Christmas deliveries can be made on time every December.
Tolkien drew colorful pictures to accompany the text of the letters. Following Tolkien’s death in 1973 and beginning in 1976, several different compilations and editions of these “Father Christmas” letters have been published.